In addition to the earth-shaking-but-ultimately-pretty-cool news that the Doug Fir is moving into the old Le Bistro Montage space—which Mercury culture editor Suzette Smith covered this week—Portland is brimming with excitement right now. As February comes to a close, we’re cuddled up with some new music, looking forward to Pickathon, and irately demanding Ticketmaster allow us to purchase Wu-Tang Clan and Nas seats immediately. 


Can’t miss upcoming events.              


Back before the New Year, we reported that Portland-based powerhouse quintet Eyelids’ NYE show would be their last show before their forthcoming album’s release: Colossal Waste of Light on Jealous Butcher Records—produced by REM’s Peter Buck. That’s technically still true. On the album's release date, the band is playing an album release show at Mississippi Studios, where they’ll treat the intimate venue to live renditions. The show kicks off a tour (named in a classic fashion Colossal Waste of Light Tour) where they'll take their rich melodies, soothing vocal harmonies, and jangly guitar-pop on the road for 23 US dates. Eyelids is known to treat hometown crowds to special surprise guests, like when they brought Peter Buck onstage to perform with the group at this exact same venue last June, making this night damn-near irresistible. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, Fri March 10, 9 pm, $15, w/ Man’s Body, tickets here, 21+)


New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.   

“Any Way,” Jay Si Proof 

Need some new grooves that’ll get you out on the town? Check out the new single and upcoming show from Jay Si Proof: the brainchild project of trombonist and vocalist Jeff Chilton (Broken Social Scene, The Platters). Playing self-proclaimed “earth jazz,” the band pulls from additional genres, like disco, funk and rock, and a variety of modern influences including lo-fi, hip-hop, and R&B. On February 24, the group dropped a new single, ”Any Way,” featuring Alyx Bell, “a fantastic PDX singer songwriter who recently went over to London for a masters degree,” Chilton says via email. A month ago, Jay Si Proof released a locally shot music video for the upbeat, disco-informed single “IRL,” and “Any Way,” is relatively chill, jazzy, and ethereal, as the vocalists harmonize a “To be free” refrain that’s reminiscent of late ’90s- and early- 2000’s sounds, as well as bands like English duo Zero 7. The influence of the decades are prevalent across the majority of the band’s catalog, so it’s only right that there’s an upcoming opportunity to move your body in the sweaty confines of Goodfoot basement. (Goodfoot Lounge, 2845 SE Stark, Sun March 26, 10 pm, w/ Spunj, $15, 21+)



Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Wu-Tang Clan and Nas 

If you’re a die hard Wu-Tang Clan fan—been gobbling up Wu-Tang: An American Saga and/or Nas’ King’s Disease III—you’re going to want to move some funds around this week, because Wu-Tang Clan and Nas just announced that their co-headliner tour NY State of Mind will reconvene, with 32 more dates across North America and beyond this fall. After GZA came to Portland to headline Pickathon last summer, another Wu-Tang visit so soon feels like we’re being spoiled rotten. In November, Nas released his Grammy-nominated King’s Disease III, the fourth consecutive album he worked on with producer Hit-Boy, and it appears the lyricist saved the best installment for last. The album’s most repeatable track is “Once A Man, Twice A Child,” which sees Nas barring out about thoughts on aging: how time flies, you’re only young and strong once, and when you’re old you sort of become a baby again. But Nas’ meticulous cadence stands out even more as he raps: “Strong motherfucker when you're young / I ducked a razor, ducked some punches/ Even ducked a gun Nintendo Duck Hunt/ I ducked police I had to run.” Presales for the tour start today, and the public gets their shot on Friday at 9 am. (Moda Center, 1 N Center, Tues Oct 17, 8 pm, ticket price TBD, all ages)

Pickathon 2023

This summer's Pickathon tickets are officially on sale, for all you early bird buyers and cult followers. After last year’s Pickathon, I think we were all doing our best not to complain about the frustrating parking situation—which made it difficult to even carpool. Over the two year pause an onslaught of residential development cropped up where the festival’s parking lot used to be—creating dystopian views of McMansions beyond the Starlight Stage. The good news? Pickathon posted last week saying they’ve fixed the parking situation. “The new parking lot is just a half mile away from the festival, and is two and a half times the size of our original parking lot,” a recent Instagram post from the fest read. “We’ve got parking for everybody! We are mapping out walking paths, gear drops, and shuttle routes. It should be an easy process.”  (Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen, Happy Valley, Thurs Aug 3-Sun Aug 6, tickets here, all ages)